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Selective Realism and Inverse MethodsVarious forms of selective realism are now available. Yet even a selective realist encounters trouble in the case of astronomy because astronomy is unusual among the developed sciences in being without access to experiments. Ian Hacking used this feature to argue in favor of antirealism in astrophysics. In my talk I shall show how the use of inverse methods in astronomy and elsewhere can provide grounds for a kind of selective realism. The implications of these methods for underdetermination, hypothetico-deductivism, and property realism will be discussed.
University of Virginia